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A troubled teen, living in Paris, is torn between two boys, one of whom encourages her to embrace life, while the other—dark, dangerous, and attractive—urges her to embrace her fatal flaws.

Haunting and beautifully written, with a sharp and distinctive voice that could belong only to this character, Romancing the Dark in the City of Light is an unforgettable young adult novel.

Summer Barnes just moved to Paris to repeat her senior year of high school. After being kicked out of four boarding schools, she has to get on track or she risks losing her hefty inheritance. Summer is convinced that meeting the right guy will solve everything. She meets two. Moony, a classmate, is recovering against all odds from a serious car accident, and he encourages Summer to embrace life despite how hard it can be to make it through even one day. But when Summer meets Kurt, a hot, mysterious older man who she just can’t shake, he leads her through the creepy underbelly of the city-and way out of her depth.

When Summer’s behavior manages to alienate everyone, even Moony, she’s forced to decide if a life so difficult is worth living. With an ending that’ll surprise even the most seasoned reader, Romancing the Dark in the City of Light is an unputdownable and utterly compelling novel.


Guest post by Ann Jacobus

Getting Through the Holidays With Your Sanity Intact

It’s that time of year again, book lovers. When we gather together with family, and fight.

Just kidding.

Well, some of that is bound to go on, but gathering to celebrate the holidays with family is ideally a net positive, i.e. more positive than negative.

Even if this is a season you look forward to, and especially if it isn’t, this time of year sees a rise in depression, anxiety, and even suicidality (the term for feeling suicidal). I volunteer at a suicide crisis line and know firsthand that it’s a tough time of year. For the record, it’s a myth that suicides go up during the holidays. They actually go up after the holidays.

“How can the season of joy be a tough time of year?” you may ask.

Here are eleven good reasons:

1.There’s pressure to accomplish more right now—gift-buying, final exams, end-of-year-work, socializing, and traveling, in addition to our normally busy lives. This adds stress.

  1. We eat more sugar and a less healthy diet and get less sleep.
  2. In the northern hemisphere anyway, it’s dark and cold. Some people are adversely affected by less light.
  3. Exercise goes on the back burner and it’s one of the best stress reducing tools we’ve got.
  4. Media bombards us with images of perfect, happy families, and we feel lacking in comparison.
  5. We may be sorely missing family members who are no longer alive, serving overseas, or living elsewhere, or a relationship with a significant other that recently ended.
  6. Those of us who prefer to spend our free time curled up with a good book may feel forced to go out and socialize with people we have no desire to spend time with. That’s stressful.
  7. For those who want to socialize but don’t have the opportunities, loneliness and isolation are underscored this time of year.
  8. We can simply get our hopes up, the way we did when we were little, about gifts and parties and sweets and spiked eggnog and the excitement of it all. Reality just can’t measure up to our own internal hype.
  9. Unfortunately, sometimes we drink spiked eggnog in excess or abuse another substance because for just a little while that seems to help. Except that it doesn’t.
  10. We creative types who are a little more sensitive to the world than others—and those of us, who due to our sexual orientation or gender identity suffer from less family acceptance and support—are all four times more likely to suffer from depression than the general population. That’s all year round.

So as lights twinkle, and parties mushroom, gifts collect and choral groups carol, almost any of us can feel blue at some point. Not at all merry.

This season, be gentle with yourself. Get outside—dressed appropriately, and get some fresh air, natural light and exercise.

Retreat with a good book whenever necessary.

Get enough sleep.

Cuddle a warm living being.

Try to manage your expectations. What if December was just a month like any other,

but anything nice that happens is a bonus?

Do not eat a pecan pie and two double bourbons for dinner.

Keep an eye on your friends and family. If they seem to be having a hard time, ask what you can do. Maybe it’s just to listen.

Last but not least, try volunteering and/or reaching out to someone who’s alone. It’s the best-kept secret for how you can feel better, anytime.

Happy mentally-healthy holidays to you and yours and may you find joy this season!

Btw, LIFELINE offers anonymous support and information—for anyone feeling stressed or blue, as well as to those worried about someone else. You don’t need to be suicidal J

1-800-273-8255 or text “go” to 741 741.

Marc Olivier Le Blanc photography, Pictures by San Francisco Photographer, advertising and editorial.

Author info:

Ann Jacobus is the author of YA thriller ROMANCING THE DARK IN THE CITY OF LIGHT (St. Martin’s Griffin/Macmillan), about an alcoholic, depressed and suicidal girl in Paris. She volunteers on a suicide crisis line in San Francisco where she tries to get enough exercise and live harmoniously with her family.

Twitter: @annjacobusSF

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